Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Barnes & Noble announces new Nook GlowLight 4, says it cares for real this time

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Barnes & Noble has as soon as once more remembered that it ostensibly desires to promote e-readers and has introduced the Nook GlowLight 4, a $149 e-reader that gives a refreshed design, extra onboard storage, and USB-C charging to the corporate’s lineup.

The final devoted Nook e-reader, the GlowLight 3, was introduced 49 months in the past (to the day) on November 1st, 2017, though Barnes & Noble did give the Nook model a shot within the arm earlier this yr with a new, Lenovo-made finances pill.

The new GlowLight 4 doesn’t seem to maneuver the needle a lot in comparison with the 2017 mannequin, although. The show is the same six-inch, 300ppi e-paper show with an built-in backlight and adjustable shade temperature performance, though the corporate has slimmed down the bezels and general measurement of the new mannequin. Battery life has been elevated, with as much as 50 days off a single cost (up from a month on the previous mannequin). And the onboard storage has been quadrupled from 8GB to 32GB.

Those new upgrades additionally include an unlucky $30 worth enhance, with the Nook GlowLight 4 costing $149, up from the already costly $119 that the GlowLight 3 went for. Adding insult to harm is the truth that Barnes & Noble isn’t including again extra essential options like waterproofing or extra premium supplies.

The Nook GlowLight 3 (left) and the new GlowLight 4 (proper).
Images: Barnes & Noble

It’s one thing that’s particularly puzzling provided that Barnes & Noble was one of many first firms so as to add each of these options with the 2015 GlowLight Plus, which supplied a glossy aluminum design lengthy earlier than Amazon did with its Oasis. The Nook was additionally waterproof years earlier than Amazon and Kobo would make that the usual throughout most of their product lineups.

And given the $149 price ticket, the GlowLight 4 is a reasonably exhausting promote. It’s pricier than Amazon’s new Paperwhite mannequin, which begins at $139 (when not on one among its frequent vacation gross sales) and has an even bigger show, waterproofing, and a bigger e-book storefront. And it matches up poorly towards Kobo’s Libra line, too, which has a $159 beginning worth however provides an even bigger and higher show, waterproofing, and simpler entry to borrowed library books. The solely real profit that the GlowLight 4 gives is bodily web page flip buttons, making it the most cost effective main e-reader to take action.

That stated, it looks as if the GlowLight 4 would possibly simply be the tip of the Nook iceberg. “Barnes & Noble is now investing significantly in our Nook line of products,” Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt promised in an accompanying press launch, noting plans to “reinvigorate Nook in the coming months and years.”

And whereas Barnes & Noble has a protracted technique to go earlier than it catches as much as Kobo or Amazon, getting a 3rd aggressive participant within the e-reader house can be an excellent factor — even when Barnes & Noble is just barely much less of a monolithic company than, say, Amazon or Rakuten (which owns Kobo).

The Nook GlowLight 4 is ready to go on sale on Barnes & Noble’s web site and in shops in a single week on December eighth.

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